Turning 40 next week, Michael Broadwith will move into the veterans’ category for next season. But he is unfazed about becoming one of the “old guys” and with good reason - his last outing back in July saw the long distance specialist secure his third successive National 24 hour title.
The Hertfordshire based Arctic Tacx RT man went into the event as pre-race favourite and duly delivered, racking up just over 530 miles for a 34 mile winning margin, despite the treacherous weather on the day.
“It was a very difficult day and night with the conditions but in some ways the bad weather made it easier for me,” Broadwith recalled.
“Having that experience of racing the event before certainly helps as you are more prepared for the conditions we had, but you also have the confidence to stop and take the necessary breaks rather than carry on and perhaps struggle later on for doing so.
“A few guys went off fast and so I knew I was several minutes down, but I knew not to panic and the experience comes through.”
Broadwith acknowledged that his first time in the event was a real step into the unknown, but the more experience gained in the discipline, the more the preparation and pressure changes.
“In 2016 we put pressure on ourselves as a team to have a go at the competition record whereas this years’ event was about performing well and getting the logistics right, so ensuring you have clean, dry kit available and having good communication with the support team.”
At the time of the event Broadwith’s wife was pregnant and the couple have since welcomed a baby daughter into the world, so having not raced since the triumph, he has already identified targets for next season.
“My main focus next spring is to have a go at the end-to-end record, one of the ultimate solo challenges, but I do want to get underway with enough time to recover for another go at the 24.
“It is a great event that should grow in popularity. Because of my experience I have had a number of people messaging me asking if they should give it a go, or whether they can make the step up from the 12-hour.
“I am all for it too, the more competition the merrier as you want to be competing against the best.
I definitely want a go at defending it next year, but I am taking nothing for granted. Nobody has ever won four on the trot and for me that would be a great honour,” Broadwith added.
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